But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously. Micah 6: 8 The Message This verse from the prophet Micah may well be the most famous and well-known in his entire prophetic book. It is a summary of what God expects from us, as His followers. The more formal version of these sentiments if found in other versions of this verse, such as this formulation from the NRSV: “What does the Lord require of you? But to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” The verse encourages three behaviors. First, we are called to be fair in all of our dealings with our neighbors. Don’t cheat people. It’s just that basic. Don’t take advantage of them. Instead, always seek to be honest and forthright. When you do this, you remove any question about your character, for people will trust you. Essentially, everyone is our neighbor. Second, be kind and loving. Our world seems to be filled with anger, rage, and cruel behavior. Some take pleasure in, and laugh at the pain of others. We need to embrace loving others, especially by showing kindness, even if it does not always feel comfortable. Act kindly and mercifully towards others. When we show sincere compassion towards others, even those we do not know, we are being the “Good Samaritans” of our world. Third, don’t be arrogant. Most of us have probably known someone who thinks a little too highly of themselves. They can be loud, boisterous, pushy, and challenging to be around. This is not the kind of person we are called to be. Instead, we are to be humble and kind. Always seeking to lift others up, and affirm them. When we walk faithfully with the Lord, our interactions with others will be blessed by following His word. Micah’s clarity of thought may be helpful to us. In a world of possibilities, may we all choose to prioritize fairness, kindness, and faithfulness. The world would be a much better place, if everyone did so… Prayer Loving God, Help me to be fair, and loving to others, especially those in need of your kindness. Above all, let me walk closely beside You, each and every day. May others see Your mercy in me. Forgive me when I start to stray, and gently correct me with Your shepherd’s crook. Lead me back to the right path: the faithful way. I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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